15 Coolest Things To Do in Downtown LA Today
Published by Josh Hirsch.
We are heading to Downtown LA! The neighborhood is vibrant with historic architecture, fantastic food finds, museums, and countless hours of entertainment. DTLA has blossomed in recent decades, and today it’s one of the most popular walkable and metro friendly destinations for native Californians and tourists. Downtown LA is full of life, fun, culture, and experiences to delight adults and children alike. Check out our top 15 activities to do in Downtown LA.
If you want to eat your way through DTLA while learning some about, history, traditions, and fun facts, the Sidewalk Food Tour of LA should be your first stop. We scoped out some of the most delicious eats in all of LA. One of our local tour guides will guide you and your group through the neighborhood, not only some of the most popular restaurants but also the hidden gems only a local would know. During the three-hour tour, expect to stop at six different locations and taste delectable foods from different ethnicities and countries.
In this historic Downtown LA area, you may just forget you’re in California. Little Tokyo looks and feels so much like Japan and has been a magnet for Japanese migrants and visitors. Buy authentic Japanese items from the Japanese Village Plaza Mall, eat all different kinds of noodles, or try the traditional Shabu Shabu soup from one of the local vendors. Little Tokyo has the largest Japanese population in all of North America.
Downtown Los Angeles is known for its exceptional art. The MOCA has two locations in Downtown LA, one on Grand Avenue and the other in Little Tokyo. They have permanent collections as well as short-run features; all of them are captivating.
Grab an unforgettable lunch at Grand Central Market. Since 1917, the market has been home to butchers, delis, bakeries, and other food vendors. Find something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters; the options at the market are endless.
Do you want to catch a thrilling basketball game or jam out at your favorite singers live show while on your visit to Downtown LA? With space for 20,000 fans, The Staples Center is the ultimate entertainment hub. This famous venue is also home to the Grammy Awards, and some of LA’s most prominent sports teams. From hockey games to basketball games, sports fans visiting DTLA will have a blast catching their favorite team here.
Perch is one of Downtown ‘LA’s original rooftops. The Parisian vibe crafted cocktails, and aged wines make this the perfect spot for a drink. While ‘you’re there be sure to taste the truffle poutine, ‘it’s out of this world! Be sure to bring your camera as well, the views from the Perch rooftop will be something you want to capture on film.
When many of us think of LA, our minds to straight to glitz and glamor. If ‘you’re looking to pamper yourself, the Ritz-Carlton Spa will make you feel like you’re about to step on the red carpet. From CBD infused massages to classic mani pedis, men and women can enjoy a day of relaxation. You don’t have to stay at the hotel to use the spa either, just be sure to book ahead and let them know exactly which service you want to spoil yourself with.
Are you a fan of Mexican food? If so, be sure to check out number 8 on the list! Broken Spanish is located in the heart of Downtown LA. This ‘isn’t your ordinary Mexican restaurant, chef, Ray Garcia is classically trained and brings a whole to life to Mexican cuisine. Be sure to taste one of his unique creations like oxtail burrito!
It’s time to face the music at The Grammy Museum. If you have ever watched the Grammy Awards on TV, or are a music lover, this museum should be at the top of your LA to-do list. The interactive museum is dedicated to all aspects of the music industry and has items from all of the previous shows. This is a place where fans of all genres of music can come to learn and celebrate their favorite musicians and maybe even learn a thing or two they never knew about them.
While escape rooms are not limited to Downtown LA, if you’re a fan of adventure and quick thinking, Escape Room LA is a must. Transport back to the 1940’s in the themed Detective Room or uncover secrets of an ancient civilization buried in time in the Cavern Room. This is the perfect activity if ‘you’re with a group. For a fun work outing or even a birthday party, an evening at the Escape Room LA will be one to remember. Do you think you can beat the Alchemist, free the Phantom, or find the lost Mayan treasure before the clock runs out? Only time will tell.
One of the most popular new attractions in DTLA is The Broad Museum. From the larger than life table you can walk under to the mirror rooms, this museum has gained quite a following in a short amount of time. This could be due to its “Instagram worthy” exhibits and attractions. ‘What’s the best part about the Broad Museum? ‘It’s free! Just be sure you get a ticket beforehand, or you may have to wait about an hour to get in.
Grand Park truly is the public park for everyone. This family friendly outdoor haven has splash pads, majestic views, sitting spaces, and serves as a gathering ground for people from all walks of life. From packing a picnic with friends or family or perching yourself under a tree to read a good book, Grand Park serves as an urban oasis for so many. The park also hosts events throughout the year like live music shows, food festivals, and theatre performances. Plus, ‘it’s accessible to all, with ramps and elevators everyone can bask in the LA sun while enjoying a day at the park. Be sure to check the schedule to find out when the next event will take place.
If you love some retail therapy, The Fashion District is your one-stop-shop for bargain clothes, fun accessories, and textiles. From hand made clothing to top-selling designer brands, if you search for it, you can find it at the LA Fashion District. If you are a designer or have a knack for sewing, here you can find endless selections of fabrics to create your very own garments.
Did someone say maple bacon donuts? The Nickel Diner is home to original, good old classic American diner food in a fun vintage style setting. The inside of the restaurant makes you feel as if ‘you’ve stepped inside a time capsule back to the 1940s. Some of the best stick to your ribs comfort foods like mac & cheese, and The Nickel Burger can be found here. If ‘you’re looking for a more healthy option, they do offer tasty diet-friendly salads with homemade dressing and dishes like Stuffed Avocado with Quinoa. We do suggest you break your diet with one of their incredible homemade desserts. The only hard part will be choosing between the 5 flavors of donuts or a slice of their homemade cake. The diner was also featured on Guy ‘Fieri’s cult classic Diners, ‘Drive-In’s, and Dives, as well as The Cooking Channel, and Jonathan ‘Gold’s 101 List.
Oue Skyspace takes the last spot on the list. If you go to Downtown LA, ‘there’s no doubt you will want to see it all.’ Did you know you actually can? Get an incredible view of the whole neighborhood from the Oue Skyspace Observation Deck. Located on the 69th and 70th floors of the US Bank Tower, Oue Skyspace has been featured in many major motion pictures and currently holds the number 92 spot on the 100 tallest buildings in the world list. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to steer clear though; the iconic tower stands at a whopping 1,000 feet above the ground. If you go during the day, expect to see the San Gabriel mountain range in the distance, and if you go for a night visit, see the city illuminated by millions of lights.